Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (130-121)
This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.
One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.
Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.
So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019:
130. “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled
This is your classic ‘princess introduction’ song, establishing Rapunzel as someone with dreams who is stuck in this tower in the same old boring routine who laments when she’s finally gonna be able to go out and do all the things she’s always wanted to do. It’s a great introduction to the character and a really solid song, if not of the caliber of some of the other ‘princess’ songs out there.
129. “Where You Are,” from Moana
Is this our first Moana song? I think it is. This entire film got so overshadowed the year it came out, because people were (for some reason) obsessed with Zootopia. But this was the far superior film that holds up among the better (if not best) Disney princess films. The songs in it are just spectacular. This song acts kind of like “Belle” does in Beauty and the Beast, introducing the character and her surroundings and sort of explaining how she has hopes and dreams to get out of there but is stuck for whatever reason in this place. It’s very nice.
128. “Equation,” from The Little Prince
This is a beautiful little song. This whole film, I feel, totally flew under the radar. It’s a somewhat modern take on the original story, using both CG and stop-motion animation. The story, f you remember, is told by a pilot who crashes and then meets the Little Prince. Here, the pilot is now an old man, living next door to this little girl, and she meets and befriends him, and he tells her his story, and it incorporates the tale in a really beautiful way. This song is a perfect encapsulation of the girl’s situation at the beginning of the movie. Because her mother has developed this very rigorous plan for her daughter that will turn her into a success. But of course it leaves no time for the girl to actually enjoy her life or do anything other than study and work. So this song acts as a way to illustrate her monotony but also her inner longing for more. It’s not unlike all those ‘princess’ songs we were just talking about in previous days.
127. “The Place Where the Lost Things Go,” from Mary Poppins Returns
This is a really nice song. And like all the others, I can’t quite get over the hump of just liking it and thinking it’s well done. I don’t know what it is. But as a song, it’s impeccably written. Perhaps performed a bit too fast and the arrangement not quite what it should be, but the lyrics are very good.
126. “Elevate,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Don’t you just wanna get up and move whenever you hear the songs from this movie? It’s like every one of those songs has that inner moment where the DJ says ‘GET THE FUCK UP’ in them, because you just want to every time they come on. What an amazing soundtrack this is.
125. “Stay Alive,” from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
This movie blew me away when I saw it back in 2013. It’s such an underrated gem of a film. And this song is spectacular. It’s not totally relevant to the song, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a brilliant song that captures the hope and the inner journey that takes place within the film. It’s one of those songs that, as a song, I’d rank way higher on this list, but in terms of it’s use within the film, I can’t really justify putting it much higher than this outside of, “I just really like the song.”
124. “Home,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
This entire soundtrack is just banger after banger after banger. They really went all out with this, and it’s one of the best soundtracks of the decade. I don’t even know what there is to say about this song. It’s just great. They’re all great.
123. “Blink (One Million Miles),” from Hearts Beat Loud
Aww, yeah! You know a movie is good and has great songs when one comes up and you just reflexively smile. What a beautiful film this is. It’s the story of a father and daughter. He’s widowed and owns a failing record shop and she’s about to go off to college across the country. She’s also just started dating this girl, and she’s getting her own life going. And he keeps wanting her to jam with him, which she doesn’t really want to do anymore. But, she’s written this song, which they record and mix together. And he’s like, “This is great, we’ve started a band!” And she’s like, “We’re not a band.” Which he uses as the title of their band and puts the song online. and very quickly, it becomes a viral hit. So now he keeps wanting to write more songs with her (the movie’s about him wanting to remain close to his daughter even though she’s about to go off and become her own person) and this song in particular is the second one she writes, inspired by her newfound relationship. There are three main songs the band writes and performs during the film, and they’re all quite wonderful. And the film itself is one of the great hidden gems of the entire decade.
122. “Scared of the Dark,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
How can you not have at least ten song from this movie on your list? They’re all fantastic. It all just comes down to which ones you like best. This one’s got Weezy, baby. Who doesn’t love Weezy?
121. “Pray for Me,” from Black Panther
This is the other great soundtrack of 2018, alongside Spider-Verse. I don’t love the majority of songs on this one as I do the other one, but the peaks of this soundtrack are arguably better than those on Spider-Verse. There are a couple of really amazing songs on this soundtrack, and this is one of them. This is just a straight banger. That’s what happens when you have a Pulitzer Prize winner writing your music.
– – – – – – – – – –